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Post‐probe decision making in a prison context

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Abstract:

If a listener becomes suspicious during a conversation, and asks questions (probes) of a speaker, the listener tends to judge the speaker's message as honest. This result has been termed the probing effect (McCornack, Levine, Aleman, Oetzel, & Miller, 1991). This study hypothesized that an untested decision-making phenomenon, an opposite probing effect, or a post-probe tendency to judge a message as deceptive, might occur when lie-biased individuals judge statement veracity. Prison inmates and non-inmates participated in dyads as judges and speakers. Speakers watched a video, and then lied or told the truth to judges. Judges covertly showed thumbs up or down before asking questions, and subsequently made post-probe judgments. Findings indicate that inmates use heuristic processing to a greater extent than non-inmates, and that inmates, surprisingly, exhibit a probing effect, and not an opposite probing effect, when heuristic processing is employed to decide message veracity.

Keywords: Deception; Heuristics; Lie‐biased; Probing effect; Reversed probing effect

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0363452042000288328

Publication date: September 1, 2004

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